The (Extremely Long) Song of Ice and Fire
The (Extremely Long) Song of Ice and Fire avatar

In 1996, I bought and read A Game of Thrones, the first book of the saga by George R. R. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. MartinMartin, The Song of Ice and Fire. It was interesting and had some new ideas and different characters. The center of interest was the Stark family. The characters were well-delineated and strong in this opening foray into a brilliantly-designed fantasy world.

This first novel was followed in 1998 by the second in the set, A Clash of Kings and then in 2000 by A Storm of Swords. So far, so good–an interesting trilogy that was only slightly flawed by the multitude of characters and confusion of loosely interlocking plots. The story held together although it became ponderous and rambling by the end of the third book. Unfortunately (or fortunately A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martindepending on your point of view), most of the plot lines were left hanging so we readers knew we were going to be in for more.

We waited a while for A Feast for Crows in 2005, but it was still possible for me to continue reading without the chore of rereading the previous three books.  This one was even more rambling than the earlier books.

And then came the long, long wait for A Dance with Dragons (2011). Many of us thought A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martinthis would be the last book, tying together all the loose ends and finishing this saga. This time I must have had a premonition because, instead of buying it, I borrowed a copy from my local library instead of laying out the hefty $35 list price ($21 from Amazon). After about three months on a waiting list, I finally opened the book.

As I started to read, I realized that I didn’t remember much from the earlier works and turned to the back to see if there were any handy clues or reminders. There were–over 50 pages of lists of characters and their relationships. While looking over this list, I realized that most of the characters who remained alive were nasty or greedy or uninteresting. I’ll pass on reading it, at least for now.

In the author’s introduction to the current volume, he mentions the next ( not necessarily last) book, The Winds of Winter. Expected in 2012, this volume should be the end, but I think it will end without me.

2011, Decision Consulting, Inc. (DCI). All rights reserved. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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